Studies in persuasion technology show that what you expect tends to be realized. I call this the Law of Expectation, which is also one of the tenants of sales.
As a sales professional, your expectations influence reality. I recently came across a movie called, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” It explains how our thoughts and intentions shape our reality. If you haven?t seen the movie, I urge you to do so. (You can go to http://www.whatthebleep.com/ to learn more.)
The movie explains that human behavior is directly related to how others expect us to perform. As an example, there was once a study in which first grade students were told that blue-eyed kids are smarter than brown-eyed kids. The blue-eyed children subsequently scored better on tests than their brown-eyed peers.
After several months they decided to bring the children together and tell them that what they’d told them before was wrong. This time, they said that all children are born with blue eyes and the more we learn the more our eyes turn brown, so brown-eyed children are smarter. Just as predicted, the blue-eyed children started to have trouble with their studies and the brown-eyed children improved.
So what might happen if you truly believe you’re a great salesperson? What if you were to see, hear and experience every prospect as a great candidate? How do you do this? One way is to make a great first impression; it?s the moment where the Law of Expectation has the greatest impact on your performance. You communicate your expectations by your word choices, voice inflection and body language. When you expect your prospects to buy, all your actions will lead them in the right direction.
Before each sales meeting, try asking yourself, “How do I expect this sales process to go?” If your other-than-conscious mind feeds back a negative response, mentally rehearse the end result you want in full color with sound and feeling. You may want to imagine the prospect signing an order form or handing you a check. Now picture yourself smiling and shaking hands with your new customer. Know that you?ve just done a great service. When you spend time rehearsing success, you?ll be comfortable with it when it happens.